Table of Contents
Teamwork is crucial to learning communities. In this sense, teamwork skills play a crucial role in the labor force including the school environment. Teamwork entails the process of working collaboratively with groups of people including teachers, students, and other educational stakeholders to attain a particular goal. It implies that people working together will attempt to make use of their individual skills, cooperate, and offer constructive feedback in spite of any personal disagreements between the concerned persons. In this regard, the paper will discuss the team development stages, hindrances to effective teamwork strategies, ways of overcoming the barriers, and effective implementation of shared decision-making in teams.
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Stages of team development
First, the forming stage is where the team members come together and familiarize themselves with each other and the tasks they are supposed to do. There is a lot of uncertainty and members are cautious of each other. For the team leader, it is crucial to facilitate communication and interaction between the team members. The aim of this stage is for members to be familiar with each other (Daft, 2007).
Second, in the storming stage there is a higher likelihood of competition as well as conflict because of the emergence of individual personalities. Such cases arise as a result of group member recognizing the most crucial important issues to be handled and the responsibility of every member to clarify the role of each (Daft, 2007).
Proceeding further, in the norming stage, the team now becomes a cohesive unit because of understanding each other. The morale is often high and the group members appreciate the skills and knowledge of their peers bring to the team. There is also the establishment of a sense of belonging and information flows seamlessly through the group. The members focus on the group’s goal and are willing to adapt to the group’s needs (Daft, 2007).
Next is performing stage. It is associated with high productivity. The group would have attained its peak because the members of the group are supportive to each other and unified. The overall aim of the group is work toward attaining their goals. The stage is also associated with interdependence and finding solutions to problems (Tuckman & Jensen, 1977).
Lastly, the adjourning stage entails the termination of tasks as well as disengagement from relationships. The members are recognized for their efforts and can also be allowed to say personal goodbyes. Group termination is a regressive process (Tuckman & Jensen, 1977).
Hindrances to effective teamwork strategies
Poor communication: It acts as a barrier to productive work. It may also result in a breakdown in team development.
The functioning of a team cannot be easy because the team members have come from diverse backgrounds and exhibit varied behaviors. It makes some members to discriminate against others in the allocation of responsibilities.
Poorly conceived organization including rigid adherence to the organizational structure is a barrier to team development.
Poor leadership makes it difficult for the team to attain its goals.
Another barrier is inadequate training both at the individual and group level. If the member are improperly trained, the group will have problems moving forward as a unit. The team members can be trained on reflection on the group process and assess the meeting outcomes.
The lack of clear goals is another obstacle. A team is developed to attain particular goals at the workplace. Unclear goals make it hard for the team to work properly.
Lastly, the lack of trust among the team members hinders team development (Boaden, et al., 2008)
Ways of overcoming the barriers
The following strategies can be used o overcome barriers to team development: Good communication channels to foster team cohesiveness and ensure it attains its goals; since a team comprises of people with different behaviors and backgrounds, the members are supposed to embrace diversity to foster an inclusive working environment. It implies that by understanding multiculturalism, it can aid the multiracial persons develop confidence as well as healthy understanding of their uniqueness; to ensure that the teams work, the traditional hierarchical organizational structure is supposed to be changed. It should be made flexible to accommodate everyone’s needs; the team is supposed to be guided by a visionary, dedicated, respectful, inspiring, and knowledgeable leader. Good leadership creates a healthy, inclusive, and empowering environment; proper training of the team members because every member plays a crucial part in the group; the goals are supposed to be presented in a clear manner by the management. It ensures that the team works effectively. For example, every department should have defined responsibilities; lastly, building trust is crucial in the team’s productivity. It can be attained by developing relationships based on common interests (Roberts & Pruitt, 2008).
Conflict is part of life; you cannot engage as group without encountering conflict. It is more prevalent in the storming stage. To resolve the conflict requires cooperative approaches (Deutsch, Coleman, & Marcus, 2011): agree on basic issues related to tasks; develop a rapport via regular meetings; utilize protocols to offer guidance to discussions; focus on things you agree on as a team based on common interests; come up with as many ideas as possible prior to making the final decision; understand the different generations behave differently in a work environment; use of direct communication that often resolves problems rapidly because it encourages open and frank discussions.
How to implement shared decision-making on teams effectively
- Formulate a shared vision outlining how it benefits the team or organization
- Select potential implementation approaches based on organizational goals (Bernhardt, 2013)
- Evaluate the organization
- To carry out certain work details on an ad hoc basis
- Define the project to be undertaken defining its scope and team members
- Measure and evaluate the project’s progress
- Identify the areas to improve and sustain (Bernhardt, 2013).
- Use of technology tools including web applications and computer programmes to help make informed decisions, as well as face-to-face discussion sessions with teachers and students (Bernhardt, 2013).
We can do it today.
In summary, team work is a process that incorporates various elements to be successful. The stages of team development are: forming, storming, norming, performing, and adjourning. The barriers to effective team work include poor communication, lack of trust, inadequate training, and lack of clear goals. The following strategies may be used to overcome the barriers direct communication, building trust, proper training, and setting up clear goals. Proceeding further, conflict may be resolved through the use of cooperative approaches including emphasis on common interests. Lastly, effective implementation of shared decision-making on teams involves creation of a shared vision, choose a suitable approach, evaluate, define the project, measure progress, and sustain. All these elements make teamwork a school improvement strategy.
- Bernhardt, V. (2013). School portfolio toolkit: A planning, implementation, and evaluation guide for continuous school improvement. New York: Routledge.
- Boaden, R., Crouch, J., Hudspith, B., Isaac, J., MacInnes, J., Mathews, A., et al. (2008). How teams work. New York: Sage.
- Daft, R. (2007). The leadership experience. New York: Cengage Learning.
- Deutsch, M., Coleman, P. T., & Marcus, E. C. (2011). The Handbook of conflict resolution: Theory and practice. New York: John Wiley & Sons.
- Roberts, S. M., & Pruitt, . Z. (2008). Schools as professional learning communities. New York: Corwin Press.
- Tuckman, B. & Jensen, M. (1977) Stages of Small Group Development. Group and Organizational Studies, 2(2), 419-427.